by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa and the continent will maintain their stance of non-alignment in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
This is in defiance of apparent pressure by the West for the continent to side with Ukraine in the conflict that started in 2022.
The South African government on Monday announced the Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, will this week attend the international meeting of high-level officials responsible for security matters, set for Russia.
This annual meeting, to be held from Tuesday to Thursday, will discuss general trends in the international security situation, including global food security.
The conflict between the Eurasian neighbours has resulted in a global food crisis globally.
Furthermore, Ntshavheni will engage with relevant authorities on matters material to the initiatives announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa of the African Leaders’ Peace Mission to Russia and Ukraine.
“In addition, the Minister has sent a team of high-level officials to the Ukraine in preparation of the peace initiative mission,” Sipho Mbhele, spokesperson of the Ministry of State Security said.
While the South African government has denied it is siding with Russia, the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has piled pressure on the African National Congress (NC)-led government.
Dianne Kohler Barnard, DA Shadow Minister of State Security, said the party condemned Ntshavheni’s attendance of the meeting in Russia.
“Given the recent claims made by the US Ambassador in South Africa regarding alleged ammunition supply to Russia by South Africa, this visit is yet another diplomatic blunder that could cost South Africa dearly,” Barnard argued.
US Ambassador, Reuben Brigety II, made the claims. He was quoted as apologising.
“The DA strongly believes that any engagement with Russia, particularly in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, should be approached with the utmost caution and consideration for South Africa’s international reputation,” Barnard said.
Russia and South Africa are members of the BRICS nations, alongside Brazil, China and India.
– CAJ News